The Tale of Governor Do-as-I-Say-Not-as-I-Do-som

It’s funny how Democracy
In many states now colored blue
Produces rank hypocrisy,
A birthright of the privileged few.

And there we notice Gavin Newsom
Imbibing wine for all to see,
Complicit in a maskless twosome
Inside a swanky eatery.

But this is urban California,
Where sidewalks are the new latrines
And politicians never mourn ya
When you’ve been taxed beyond your means.

Although he might survive the Recall
His future is in total freefall.




Ostensibly remote and undefined,
A delitescent capsule of emotion
Lies quiet in a recess of the mind
Until a glance—or better yet, a kiss—
As though some aphrodisiacal potion,
Shall cause it in an instant to dehisce.

And who’s to say that such a tipping point
Has not been brought about by Cupid’s arrow?
Jehovah, if he chooses, may anoint
A heathen godling to ensure that trysts
Are kept.  His road, it’s said, is straight and narrow,
But paths to love are fraught with many twists.



C.B. Anderson was the longtime gardener for the PBS television series, The Victory Garden.  Hundreds of his poems have appeared in scores of print and electronic journals out of North America, Great Britain, Ireland, Austria, Australia and India.  His collection, Mortal Soup and the Blue Yonder was published in 2013 by White Violet Press

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17 Responses

  1. Daniel Kemper

    I like very much that your Ecumenism poem has just the right amount of twists to show what it discusses, the many twists indeed. Bravo!

    On my gov’ner… Careful what you wish for, the only other announced candidate I’m aware of is Jenner, the former olympian…

    • C.B. Anderson

      Nobody is worried about Jenner, Daniel, but the crazy people who vote in California deserve the people they elect. I have no wish list, or at least not much of one: I only wish that the San Andreas fault would finally do what geology says it should do — send California to the bottom of the ocean or produce so many new volcanoes that the state is covered in three feet of hot ash.

      I’m glad you liked “Ecumenism”; it’s nothing more nor less than the product of a twisted mind.

  2. Margaret Coats

    Enjoyed the State poem and the Church poem. There will be no Recall if more than 700,000 petition signatures can be lost before the day after tomorrow, or if the signers can be persuaded to rescind them. We do things crazy here. And to prove it, here’s an example of the cited sidewalk latrines. Gas stations, like other essential businesses, were forbidden to let customers use restrooms. One side of one gas station was a blank wall with nothing but dirt leading up to it, and customers began to use the wall area to relieve themselves. The gas station then laid a concrete sidewalk next to the wall, and mounted a sign above the new sidewalk. Did the sign say not to use the facilities? No, it advertised drinks sold inside!

    • C.B. Anderson

      I’m sorry that my reply to Daniel included ill wishes toward the state in which you live. If anything like that ever happens, I hope you get out ahead of all the other displaced persons. I have some other old friends who live there as well, and I wish them no harm, either. But how does it feel to live in the land of lunatics? There must be some rather substantial compensations, or else you wouldn’t be there. The Bryants have invited us all to come and live in Texas. For you, I’m sure, the ban on Californians will be lifted.

      • Daniel Kemper

        Hi CB. If everyone in CA retreats to Texas (e.g.) then the next border will be Texas. Can’t retreat forever. There are wonderful things here. Swallowed up recently though. For example, the Berkeley poetry slams used to have everything under the sun and any viewpoint was cool, if you were sociable. Open debate. Viewpoints from everywhere. I’m often left thinking of California, “Man, you used to be beautiful. “

  3. Joseph S. Salemi

    I don’t doubt the corruption of Governor Newscum, who has the California judiciary and legislature in his pocket. Those 700,000 signatures for recall could very easily go missing quickly quickly, as did the thousands of votes for President Trump in several Democrat-run states in the rigged 2020 election.

    • C.B. Anderson

      I disagree with you, Joseph, on only one detail: I think that it is likely that millions of votes were switched, undercounted or overcounted in the presidential election. I think that Trump might actually have won the popular vote. Anyway, as you say, nothing is impossible in California, where corruption is proportional to the size of the economy there.

      • Daniel

        There is no practical mechanism to determine the citizenship of a voter in CA.

  4. Gail

    ‘Dehisce’–what a great word. You had an advantage there because of your background as a gardener. Are there vegetables with dehiscent seeds? I can’t think of a single one. I have a 30 year old beech, a teenager really; beech nuts are dehiscent . . . and mildly toxic to humans!

    Enjoyed them both, Mr. Anderson. (Made dinner out of my copy of The Victory Garden Cookbook just last week.)

    • C.B. Anderson

      In general, Gail, legume pods tend to dehisce if they get dry enough. The harvest of shell beans depends on this. And I’m sure that radish seed pods will do the same, but who will let their radishes go to seed? I saw Marian Morash nearly every day when I worked there, and when she was filming her cooking segments I had many a rare feast.

  5. Sally Cook

    CB – Nice work !

    Here’s my take on it:

    Governor Newsome didn’t know enough
    But only knowing what he knew was tough.
    In truth it was too much and Newsome knew it.
    Though Gavin wasn’t havin’ any recall,
    He knew some, Newsom, and that wasn’t all
    Though he had blown it, Newsom knew he knew,
    As did the rest who knew some, knew he’d fall
    Did no one know the whole, oh no siree
    Oh, not at all, y’all, .It’s plain to see
    They;ll oust the Gov from Californiee.

    • C.B. Anderson

      That’s gross, Sally. If I ever show up at your house I’ll expect a soup made from Gavin’s marrow bones, and I might or might not like it. He deserves to eat it more than I do. But I don’t expect Gavin to show up at your house anytime soon, which is lucky for him.


    C.B., these are great poems! Your “Ecumenism” sent me to the dictionary thrice, which I think is a good thing. As for your poem on Gavin Newsom — I think you nailed it. One thing (out of at least a dozen ) that really irks me about the Left Coast is the incomprehensible and hypocritical failure of people who claim to care about in social justice to deal with the real-life consequences of homelessness on the streets. You remind me of why — after having lived in Los Angeles for over 40 years — I’m very grateful to now live in New Mexico.

    • C.B. Anderson

      When I lived in New Mexico, Brian, the worst thing going on was the nightly parade of Low Riders in downtown Albuquerque. It was amusing and not at all disgusting. A good dictionary is worth more than a thousand words — somewhat better than a picture.

  7. Cheryl Corey

    I really love the Governor poem – the rhyme of Newsom with twosome, and the way you rhymed “mourn ya” with “California”. Was that a struggle, or did it come to you naturally? In the next poem, what does delitescent mean? Does dehisce imply an explosion or bursting open of sorts? Thanks.

    • C.B. Anderson

      The seed pods of some plants, Cheryl, do eject their seeds with explosive force. Two examples are Impatiens and Caragana. I’m sure there are many others.


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